Sunday, May 10, 2015

KW's Praktina FX

About a month ago, I encountered a Praktina FX while at work.  It was being discarded, as it was time to clean out some storerooms.  K.W. is short for Kamera-Werkstatten, which became part of the VEB Pentacon group in 1964.  KW is better known for the Praktica line of cameras, which were produced to about 1990.  The Praktina, while an SLR, also has a separate optical finder.  Like other cameras of its type in the early 1950s, it does not have an auto-return mirror.  Since the camera is able to use a bulk magazine (450 exposures!) and motor drive, I think that might have made the extra finder useful in such instances.  The Praktina FX was manufactured from 1953-1958.  Unlike the Praktica series, it does not have an M42-type lens mount, but instead has a breech-lock mount, similar to the Canon manual focus cameras of the 1960s-70s.  It was also the first SLR to have a motor drive!

Using this camera was fairly natural, and the only oddity is the lack of a wind-lever.  The lens stops down automatically when the exposure is made.  This model came with a Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm f/2 lens.  That design was copied in the Helios 44-2 lens used on many Soviet cameras.
I shot a roll of 100 ultra (Fomapan 100), developed in D-76.  Overall, the images were pretty good, though I should test the camera again with a color film.  There is a very faint haze inside the lens.

Here are a few images shot around town.

1 comment:

GreenComotion said...

Thank you for the lesson on the Praktina - I would have guessed it to be Russian based on the name, but that's not true I see.
In the photo with the Bike Lane sign, which is the bike lane? Is it the sidewalk like structure to the right of the sign?
I thank you in advance.

I have a Fuji X100T, which has a range finder feature also. You probably know this already :)

Have a Beautiful Day!
Peace :)